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Thread: How do you deload?

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    How do you deload?

    Might be a dumb question, but how do you deload properly? I always seem to feel like **** the first week after my deload. I have worked out HARD this last month...benching heavy HCT-12 twice a week. I went from 235x6 to a solid 265x4 and I need a break. However, I know if I just go through the motions and do 135 for a set or two next week, that 265 will feel very heavy the following week. What do you guys like to do to deload so it has a positive effect rather than a negative?

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    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    I stay away from barbells and stick with stuff like lat pulls, face pulls, leg curls, abs etc.

    Some people still S/B/DL but only up to something easy like 60%.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickAus View Post
    I stay away from barbells and stick with stuff like lat pulls, face pulls, leg curls, abs etc.

    Some people still S/B/DL but only up to something easy like 60%.
    Do you find the first week back weird or do you have much more strength than the previous week?

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    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    There are instructions for the deload week within the HCT-12 article.
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    Senior Member marleau's Avatar
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    I take my previous record for every excercise and that will be my 8th week. I count back to week 1 taking away 5 pounds every week. so if my bench record was say 150 it would be 115 for 12 reps. Once i get up to my PR i will prob be doing 8 reps, then i keep going until i can no longer do 8 reps.

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    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    You need to get enough work in to make it productive, but hold back so that by the time you are ready to go after it you are chomping at the bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Might be a dumb question, but how do you deload properly? I always seem to feel like **** the first week after my deload. I have worked out HARD this last month...benching heavy HCT-12 twice a week. I went from 235x6 to a solid 265x4 and I need a break. However, I know if I just go through the motions and do 135 for a set or two next week, that 265 will feel very heavy the following week. What do you guys like to do to deload so it has a positive effect rather than a negative?
    If you think doing 135 for a week is going to make you weaker, then the primary issue is in your head. Unless you are horribly ill or don't eat for a week, going very light for only one week will not make you any weaker.
    For a deload, I will go very light on the BP and SQ and probably won't do any pulls at all. If I'm feeling really beat up or unmotivated, I might not do any barbell lifts at all during that week. If things feel that heavy after a deload week, you either didn't deload enough or your head isn't back into your training yet. Sometimes taking a couple of extra warm-up sets at a moderate weight gets my body ready for my heavy sets if I'm feeling a little sluggish.

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    On a related note (sorry to threadjack), is it practical to "deload" with one or two exercises and keep going strong with everything else? Because some of my lifts seem to be stalling out while others keep progressing. Or should it just be all or nothing? Or does it depend on the routine you are using? Thanks.

    Also, are deloads primarily to rest your muscles or rest your CNS?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    You need to get enough work in to make it productive, but hold back so that by the time you are ready to go after it you are chomping at the bit.
    Ive always had great success with taking a week OFF. Some light cardio, but usually try to keep it to outdoor activities etc. I cant honestly say that Ive tried to compare light lifting for the week vs off for the week...but when cutting, taking a week truly OFF has always kept me losing weight, and my week back had brought back intensity, positivity, and good numbers, YMMV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixationdarknes View Post
    On a related note (sorry to threadjack), is it practical to "deload" with one or two exercises and keep going strong with everything else? Because some of my lifts seem to be stalling out while others keep progressing. Or should it just be all or nothing? Or does it depend on the routine you are using? Thanks.

    Also, are deloads primarily to rest your muscles or rest your CNS?
    You can do this at times, but at some point it's likely you're going to need to deload everything. The deload can be for the CNS, muscles, joints, etc.... It's really hard to say with a great degree of certainty that the CNS needs to deload, but the muscles don't. These systems are all integrated and work together, so it's tough to rest one without resting the other.

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Hm... alright that makes sense. So at what point would I be able to tell that I need to deload? I have been feeling pretty tired lately and am wanting to maybe move to lifting 2 days a week rather than 3, but I don't know if that's just me not getting enough rest or maybe just lacking motivation or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I still think if he's doing HCT-12, he should deload like it says in the routine. At least for the first few cycles to see how it works for him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixationdarknes View Post
    Hm... alright that makes sense. So at what point would I be able to tell that I need to deload? I have been feeling pretty tired lately and am wanting to maybe move to lifting 2 days a week rather than 3, but I don't know if that's just me not getting enough rest or maybe just lacking motivation or something.
    It sounds like it might be helpful to take a full deload week. Try this and see how you feel before you change your training schedule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I still think if he's doing HCT-12, he should deload like it says in the routine. At least for the first few cycles to see how it works for him.
    This should be the default option if the routine has a built in deload. I would agree that he should try this for a while before tinkering.

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    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    It sounds like it might be helpful to take a full deload week. Try this and see how you feel before you change your training schedule.
    Aight I will definitely deload next week or the week after. Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  16. #16
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I tease some of the guys in the journal section that deload sessions are boring to read. But really I'm proud of them for doing all the little things to keep progressing.

    A deload can be a week off, or a reduction in over-all volume, or a reduction in intensity, or a combination of those. Just give your mind and body a break.
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